Monday, May 11, 2009

Lag B Omer- Hod of Hod, Humility in Humility, Ahavat Yisrael

The holy Zohar states that even the sinners of Israel hold on to the right side and are rooted in holiness. It is, therefore forbidden to degrade or curse them. On the contrary, it is a mitzvah to love them and bring them near.

The Talmud states that Beit Shammai was strict while Beit Hillel loved peace, pursued peace, and brought people closer to the Torah (Shabbat 31a). This does not mean that Beit Shammai was unjustly strict (G-d forbid). rather Beit Shammai would distance those who legitimately deserved such treatment. Beit Hillel on the otherhand was extraordinarily humble, and he brought people close even when the law did not call for it. that is to say that he befriended those who by law would have been distanced. And the halacha follows Beit Hillel (Chatam Sofer's words)

When the Moshiach arrives the Jews will repent. In the meantime it is of utmost importance that the Jews love one another. One must love even the lowliest of Jew as himself. One must engender unity and keep far away from anything that causes disunity. The salvation of Israel during times of trouble depends on this. (Rebbe of Belz)

The Kabbalist R Issac of Komarno discussing the Jews of Germany reminds us that the klipa strengthens during bitter times. He states surely we should embrace anyone who bears the name Israel and invoke merit and love upon him....I swear by the Eternal G-d that the wicked Jews, especially those in Germany are like infants kidnapped by Gentiles. They act under duress and speak out of ignorance. In an instant they would all be willing to spill their blood like water with love, happiness, and joyful dancing-for the sanctification of G-ds great name.

*Quotes taken from Rabbi Teichtal's brilliant work Eim Habanim Semeichah p104-106

We have to learn from our past in order to rectify our future. We are reminded with the death of Rabbi Akiva's students the lesson of Ahavat Yisrael which seems to be very integral to our future redemption. As our temple is not rebuilt yet, we need to investigate and act deeply to rectify the reason why the second temple was destroyed (hatred among Jews) which we are still in the wake of. Just today I saw a non religious looking teenager (no kipa, tzitzit,) kissing a mezuzah on entering a store. Only Hashem knows what is truly in our hearts. Lets have humility with one another. We are Am Yisrael, and we need Each other.

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